Archive for February 2015

Apiary:March Outlook

Apiary3Welcome to the first of what we hope to be regular items looking forward to the next month’s activity in the association apiary.

The annual Apiary Cleaning Day will take place at the Apiary on Sunday 29th March 14:15.   Please come along and assist in the equipment cleaning and frame making.   We also intend to set up an Acetic Acid treatment of the combs from last year.   Frame hammers and blowtorches would be very welcome.

Although there are no scheduled meetings in March prior to theClean2 ‘Cleaning Day’, trustee visits will be made to check the hives for stores, start varroa monitoring and if the weather warms maybe check for room and ‘super’ if required in order to try and avoid early swarms.   Hives#1-3 are expected to provide our breeding queen for the year so may be trickle fed with light syrup.   A ‘Gardening’ visit is also likely to tidy the apiary.   Where possible these trustee visits will be flagged up in advance on the website and assistance is always welcome.

Due to the vagaries of the weather and our little friends we can only give you an indication of what we expect, no guarantees can be given!   We will provide posts on the association website prior to each meeting and a copy of the apiary records can also be found there.   So come along and interact, if you have any ideas for the apiary meetings let us know.

Apiary Trustees: Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams








Apiary:17th February-Pollen Bees

Weather: 4C, sunny

Time: 14:30

Hive#1: Hefted Heavy. Crownboard closed and temperature: 12C. Bees flying.

Hive#2: Hefted Medium. Crownboard closed and temperature: 15.7C. Bees flying.

Hive#3: Hefted Medium, previous feed gone, replaced with 500g Fondant. Crownboard closed and temperature: 15.1C. Pollen bees.

Hive#4: Hefted Heavy. Crownboard open and temperature: 16C. Pollen bees.

Hive#5: Hefted Light, Fondant left. Crownboard closed and temperature: 15C. Bees flying.

Hive#6: Hefted Heavy. Crownboard open and temperature: 17.2C. Bees flying.

Hive#7: Hefted Light, Fondant left. Crownboard closed and temperature: 25C. Bees flying.

Hive#8: Hefted Medium. Crownboard closed and temperature: 16C. Bees flying.

New spare equipment rack constructed.

Spare equipment sourced from Thornes winter sale.

Fondant sourced.

No outstanding actions.

– Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams

Apiary 2014 Annual Report

As per the last annual report we started 2014 with 4 colonies, all of which survived the winter. At our first meeting in April we found that one of the hives had already swarmed. As well as allowing one of the queen cells to produce a new queen the opportunity was taken to take 2 nuclei based on 2 of the other queen cells. In due course these developed into full colonies increasing the number of hives to 6.

In the middle of the season we were asked at short notice to look after 3 more colonies after one of our members developed an adverse reaction to stings. In the subsequent 2 weeks circumstances conspired to make this a deal more troublesome than expected. Firstly the subsequent meeting was cancelled and then a hive was diagnosed with EFB very close to where the 3 hives had come from. As a precaution it was decided to Shook Swarm the 3 hives. In the process of doing this it was found that all three hives had recently swarmed! Subsequently one of the hives developed drone laying workers, the other two went into winter smaller than ideal.

We thus end the year with 8 colonies.


As you may know we have for many years benefited from the generosity of the Peters who have allowed us to store equipment at Wenham Manor Farmhouse. The Peters moved during the year and we have therefore lost this resource. The increase in colonies has stretched our equipment resources to the limit.


After a good start with the new beekeepers of 2014, attendances at the apiary meetings once again disappointingly tailed off, despite the fantastic cakes and teas provided primarily by Liz Hawes. As well as hosting the BBKA Basic Beekeeping Assessment for 4 of our members (all successful) they were this year joined by candidates from Meon Valley Beekeeping Association.


For the first time in a number of years the Apiary offered a harvest. 80lbs of honey was jarred at a Honey Processing workshop hosted by Hazel & Richard Williams.


Looking forward to 2015. We continue to be on the lookout for an additional apiary site to mitigate any reoccurrence of EFB. An equipment store close to the apiary would also be of benefit. The trustees are always willing to consider ways of utilising the apiary for the benefit of members all ideas are welcome. Two of the trustees enter the final year of their 3-year term in 2015 so please consider taking up the role in 2016 and if interested talk to the trustees.